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Cuteness Overload: Minnesota Zoo unveils new online animal exhibits

The Minnesota Zoo is moving its annual "Farm Baby" exhibit online this year. Other exhibits also moving online.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Zoo is one of the many family attractions closed during the "Stay at Home Order."

But staff members are promising to deliver daily animal cuteness to keep kids entertained and engaged.

"We've been looking to take the zoo's mission to a virtual platform," zoo spokesman Zach Nugent says.

The zoo has been posting pictures and videos on Facebook and Twitter so that animal lovers can see what the animals are up to now that the zoo is closed to visitors.

“The animals are really affected by that social interaction with our visitors and so our zookeepers are giving them that interaction in other ways,” Nugent says.

"We've had our parrots taken to our aquarium so they can see sharks. We've had a beaver brought to the bear exhibit where the bear and beaver could see each other through the viewing area."

You can even watch a virtual tour of the zoo that is hosted by an opossum named Oakley.

It’s just one of several interactive lessons and activities the zoo has added to its website and social media pages.

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"We're really looking at ways to connect kids, adults, everyone, to wildlife and to the outdoors," Minnesota Zoo education director Liz Gilles says.

The zoo is sending out information packets to school districts right now, but parents and teachers at home can already find many of these lessons online.

"All of our resources are on a web page called the Learning Corner. They are being updated weekl," Gilles says.

And starting Monday the zoo will unveil a new baby farm animal each week.

It’s all part of the zoo’s annual Spring “Farm Babies” exhibit.

“We’re moving it online from April until May this year. Each week we will have a new type of farm baby to show everyone,” Nugent says.

The event will kick off on Monday with baby goats.

Nugent says other animals will include lambs, piglets, calves, and a special secret animal that will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Each week the zoo will post new videos and pictures of the animals and will also post various activities, trivia and a weekly naming contest where animal lovers can submit name ideas for each baby animal.

"It’s all about bringing a little bit of cuteness into people's homes, because right now, who doesn't want to see some cute baby animals?" Nugent says.

For more information on the zoo’s Learning Corner, click here.

To visit the Zoo’s website click here.